By Jeff Osmundson
Greetings Skagit Audubon members and friends and I had hoped to be writing to say how good it will be to see you back at our September meeting. Instead we have to settle for brief glimpses of our friends during the monthly Zoom meeting. We do have to be grateful that our current board has so many wonderful members that have stepped up to keep us going during the time of pandemic. I think we should all thank Kim Nelson for her assistance with setting up our virtual meetings. I would also like to thank North Cascades Institute for their generosity in granting us temporary access to their Zoom account. I, for one, will be looking at NCI’s offerings in the near future and trying to support them as they have supported us. By the way, we now have our own Zoom account thanks to the work of our new Vice President, Denny Quirk.
Carla Helm has been great at her job as she has stepped up to find additional speakers to cover our summer months. It is always a juggling show with speakers and dates and Carla has done a fine job. All of the board members have contributed to a wide variety of ongoing projects: updating bylaws, awarding our first scholarship, tracking and commenting on environmental issues, budgeting for the upcoming year and trying to keep our membership interested and engaged.
I know that some of our regular hikers and birding field trip participants might be feeling a little frustrated about our lack of outings, but there is little we can do right now except stay safe and hope for a quick vaccine that will allow us to get back to a new version of normal. Until then, check out the National Audubon website for the article “Birdwatching Is a Bright Spot in a Pandemic-Stricken Economy” and upcoming events (www.audubon.org).
Also, check out the Skagit Audubon website for new information and upcoming programs and we have a new Facebook page that you can read and contribute to. We can, and Colleen and I do, find places where we can mix meeting people with social distancing for appropriate hikes, birding adventures or other outdoor fun.
We’ll end with some really good news! From New York: “United States District Court Judge Valerie Caproni ruled on Aug. 20th that the legal opinion which serves as the basis for the Trump administration rollback of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act does not align with the intent and language of the 100-year-old law.” Today’s decision comes as a result of a series of lawsuits brought in 2018 by Audubon, several other conservation groups, and eight states.
We are all in this together and with luck and persistence will get through it. Until then, stay safe, wear your mask and wash your hands.